2011 sales forecast: 3.4 million
2010 vehicles sold: 3.1 million
Estimated growth: 10%
Germany is Europe’s biggest car market and considered the birthplace of the automobile.
Engines designed by Germans Karl Benz and Nikolaus Otto in the late 1870s led to the creation of the modern day motor car.
Home to some of the world’s most recognizable luxury vehicle brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and Audi, German-made cars account for the top 13 selling vehicles in the country in 2010. The best seller — Volkswagen’s (VW) Golf (pictured) — posted sales of 195,293 units last year, nearly double its closest competitor. Roughly every third car sold in Germany is made by VW.
In recent years, the Germany’s auto industry has managed to keep its head above water by expanding rapidly in emerging markets. VW’s single largest market is now China. The automaker saw its sales in that country jump 16.4 percent in the first seven months of 2011. Daimler, which owns the Mercedes brand, expects more Mercedes to be sold in China than in its home market by 2015.